The ubiquitous Ashton Kutcher proved this weekend that he is, for the meantime, critic-proof. While his first "serious" film, The Butterfly Effect, got some horrible reviews it went on to dominate the weekend box office anyway. Butterfly grossed $17.1 million to take the number-one position.
January 2004 may turn out to be the month of derided films defying expectations. In the number two position was the Ben Stiller/Jennifer Aniston vehicle Along Came Polly which topped a three-week box-office total of $54 million after taking in another $16.6 million. Polly was also plastered by the critics. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King was still in the top five, grossing $6.9 million. That brings the record-breaking films tally to over $500 million worldwide, the first animated film to achieve that high-water mark. Rounding out the top ten: 3rd, Win a Date With Tad Hamilton ($7.5 million); 4th, Big Fish ($7.3 million); 6th, Cheaper by the Dozen ($6.6 million); 7th, Cold Mountain (5.3 million); 9th, Somethings Gotta Give ($4.1 million);10th, Mystic River ($3.1 million).